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Of Collatine's fair wife, yet shall thou be
No Lucrece, northy king a Roman slave,
To make rude villany thine honour's grave.
MARIA. Why from my bed have you thus frighted
KING. To let thee view a bloody horrid tragedy.
MARIA. Begin it then, I'll gladly lose my life,
Rather than be an emperor's concubine.
KING. By my high birth, I swear thou shalt be
none : -
The tragedy I'll write with my own hand,
A king shall act it, and a king shall die,
Except sweet mercy's beam shine from thine eye.
If this affright thee it shall sleep for ever.
If still thou hate me, thus this noble blade,
This royal purple temple shall invade.
MARIA. My husband is from hence, for his sake
KING. Thy husband is no Spaniard; thou art one;
So is Fernando; then for country's sake, -
Let me not spare thee: on thy husband's face,
Eternal night in gloomy shades doth dwell;
But I’ll look on thee like the gilded sun,
When to the west his fiery horses run.
MARIA. True; here you look on me with sunset
- eyes, -
For by beholding you my glory dies.
KING. Call methy morning then, for like the morn,
In pride Maria shall through Spain be borne.
[Music plays within.
This music I prepar'd to please thine ears":
Love me, and thou shalt hear no other sounds.
[A banquet brought in.
Lo, here's a banquet set with mine own hands;
Love me, and thus I'll feast thee like a queen.
I might command thee, being thy sovereign;
But love me, and I'll kneel and sue to thee,
And circle this white forehead with the crown
Of Castile, Portugal, and Arragon,
And all those petty kingdoms which do bow
Their tributary knees to Philip's heir.
MARIA. I cannot love you whilst my husband
KING.. I'll send him to the wars, and in the front
Of some main army shall he nobly die.
MARIA. I cannot love you if you murder him.
KING. For thy sake then I'll call a Parliament,
And banish, by a law, all Moors from Spain.
MARIA. I'll wander with him into banishment.
KING. It shall be death for any Negro's hand
To touch the beauty of a Spanish dame.
Come, come, what needs such cavils with a king 7
Night blinds all jealous eyes, and we may play;
Carouse that bowl to me, I'll pledge all this;
Being down, we'll make it more sweet with a kiss.
Begin, I'll lock all doors, begin Spain's queen,
[Locks the doors.
Love's banquet is most sweet when 'tis least seen.
MARIA. Oh! thou conserver of my honour's life,
Instead of poisoning him, drown him in sleep;
Because I'll quench the flames of wild desire,
I'll drink this off; let fire conquer love's fire.
KING. Were love himself in real substance here,
Thus would I drink him down; let your sweet strings
Speak louder; pleasure is but a slave to kings,
In which love swims. Maria, kiss thy king:
Circle me in this ring of ivory;
Oh! I grow dull, and the cold hand of sleep
Hath thrust his icy fingers in my breast,
And made a frost within me: sweet, one kiss,
To thaw this deadness that congeals my soul.
MAR1a. Your majesty hath over-watch'd yourself.
He sleeps already, not the sleep of death,
But a sweet slumber which the powerful drug
Instill'd through all his spirits. Oh! bright day,
Bring home my dear lord ere his king awake,
Else of his unstain'd bed he'll shipwreck make.
- [Offers to go.
Enter OBERo N, and FAIRIEs dancing before him; " and music with them.
MARIA. Oh me! what shapes are these ! OBER. Stay, stay, Maria. MARIA. My sovereign lord awake, save poor Maria. OBER. He cannot save thee, save that pain; Before he wake thou shalt be slain:
His mother's hand shall stop thy breath,
Thinking her own son is done to death:
And she that takes away thy life,
Does it to be thy husband's wife:
Adieu, Marial we must hence;
Embrace thine end with patience;
Elves and fairies make no stand,
Till you come in fairy land.
[Ereunt dancing and singing.
MARIA. Fairies or devils, whatsoe'er you be,
Thus will I hide me from your company.
[Offers to go.
To her enter the QUEEN Mother suddenly with
ALv ERo and Rod ERIGo, with rapiers.
Q. Mo. Lay hold upon the strumpet! where's the
Fernando! son l ah, me! your king is dead!
Lay hands upon the murd’ress:
MARIA. Imperious queen,
I am as free from murder as thyself! -
Which I will prove, if you will hear me speak.
The king is living.
Rod. If he liv'd his breath would beat within his
Q. Mo. The life he leads, Maria, thou shalt soon
MA R1a. Oh, father save me !
Alv. Thou'rt no child of mine.
Had'st thou been owner of Alvero's spirit,
Thy heart would not have entertain’d a thought
That had convers'd with murder: yet mine eyes,
(Howe'er my tongue wants words), brim-full with tears,
Intreat her further trial.
Q. Mo. To what end ?
Here lies her trial; from this royal breast
Hath she stolen all comfort; all the life
Of every bosom in the realm of Spain.
Rod. She's both a traitor and murd’ress.
Q. Mo. I'll have her forthwith strangled.
Alv. Hear her speak!
Q. Mo. To heaven let her complain if she have
I murder but the murd’ress of my son.
ALL. We murder the murdress of our king. -
[They prepare to strangle her.
Alv. Ah, me! my child ! oh! oh, cease your tor-
MARIA. Heaven ope your windows, that my
Riding upon the wings of innocence,
May enter Paradise! Fairies, farewell
Fernando's death in mine you did foretell.
- [She dies : the King wakes.
KING. Who calls Fernando? Love! Maria, speak!
O whither art thou fled ? Whence flow these waters, -
That fall like winter storms from the drown'd eyes?
Alv. From my Maria's death.
KING. My Maria dead :
Damn'd be the soul to hell that stop'd her breath.
Maria! oh, me! who durst murder her ?